Paj ntaub, or "flower cloths,” are created using a tuck and fold reverse appliqué style, typically associated with the Hmong. Hmong women are known globally for their exemplary needle art embroidery, a tradition over 5,000 years old, and created paj ntaub for home use and as gifts to their children and extended family members. The intricate patterns of this handmade embroidery was likely to have taken the villager woman creating it several months to complete. Determining the precise origin is made difficult by the Secret War's effect on recordkeeping, but these paj ntaub likely date from the late seventies or early eighties, from the highlands of Laos or the refugee camps and small villages in Thailand. This ornamented fabric represented a significant investment in effort on the part of its maker, and was thus carefully hidden and preserved against both the ravages of time and the grasping hands of government conscripts, either for the sake of sentiment or because it could be sold or traded for cash, food, or sundry supplies.
Today, these unique and handmade embroidery cloths are often collected, framed, and displayed in homes, businesses, and museums. They can also be sewn into pillows, blankets, or clothing. Each cloth is carefully and laboriously constructed by hand and is one of a kind. Enjoy a wonderful piece of Hmong history, culture, and craftwork.
22" x 22"